Storybook Bibles


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Have any of you heard of The Jesus Storybook Bible?  Silly me, I'm sure you've heard of it.  It's the most popular storybook bible in blogland.

And for good reason. A few months after Wyatt was born I bought it for him, and Derek and I started reading it to him for Bible time at night, even though he was too little to understand it.

I loved it!  I love how the author relates each story back to Jesus, and so many of the stories made me want to cry.  There is a lot of biblical truth in this storybook, and as Wyatt got older he loved looking at the colorful illustrations too.


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Last year though, something started to bother me, and I wasn't quite sure what it was.  But after a few nights of stories, I figured it out.

The Jesus Storybook does a wonderful job of explaining God's love and Jesus sacrifice, which are so important for little ones to understand.  But I feel like they drop the ball a bit on one thing.

I couldn't find a single story that satisfactorily explained how to be saved.

It's important for children to realize that God loves us.  He loves us enough to die for us.  The book explains that He had to die for us because we have sinned.

But then it just kind of stops.  What do we do from there?  It doesn't really go over that we need to believe that Jesus is God, and that He died for our sins and was raised from the dead - and that's critical to being saved.

I think this bothers me because of the "love wins" philosophy that has started to creep into the church.  Yes, God is love.  His love is what drove Him to die for us in the first place.  

But you know what?  God is also holy.  He is also just.  Because of what Jesus did, God's justice was satisfied.  Because of Jesus, God looks at those of us who believe in Him and sees His Son's holiness.  The Bible is very clear that we must confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead in order to be saved.  

You can't be saved by default because "God is love".  Because God is more than that.  And the Bible is very clear that we need to believe in Jesus in order to be saved.  

You can't believe anything you want and still end up going to Heaven.  There is one Way, one Truth, one Life.  His name is Jesus. He is the only key.

I still like The Jesus Storybook Bible, and I will keep it because it's so beautiful, and I still like how each story points back to Jesus. But I also know that I want to be there to read it to Wyatt,  because I need to add my own explanation of how we need to believe in Jesus to be saved.  

It's important for him to understand that.  And I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed that I have to worry about adding an explanation, because I think something so critical as salvation should have been covered in detail, even in a children's Bible.

I went out and bought another Bible storybook that explains better what we need to do to be saved.  If Wyatt wants to read his Bible storybook by himself as he gets older, I want to make sure he has one that covers that.  Otherwise, what's the point?


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Note:  Not saying I don't like The Jesus Storybook Bible"at all, because I do, but I am disappointed that it wasn't more clear on that critical question of "What must we do to be saved?"  

The new Bible I bought for Wyatt is The Beginner's Bible - very straightforward and accurate, with cute pictures too, and I felt it explained things well for young minds.

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Also, I strongly recommend Arch books!  We love them!  They tell individual Bible stories in a poem format, with beautiful illustrations, and they cost about $2.50 each.  Wyatt really likes the "Jesus Blesses The Children" one.  I'm always catching him reading it after his nap.  Check Amazon or your local Christian bookstore.

A Matter Of Trust Review

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I requested A Matter Of Trust by Lis Weihl on the recommendation of a friend, hoping for something fast-paced and exciting.  And I have to say, it did not disappoint!

After the recent death of her husband, Mia returns to work as a prosecutor.  While talking on the phone with a friend and coworker, Mia hears a gunshot and realizes she has just been witness to a murder.  She is assigned to the case and teams up with a detective, Charlie, to find out who killed her friend.

I've been watching so many mystery/crime shows on TV lately, and this book reminded me of one of those shows, only written down.  It was easy to read and made me want to keep reading.  I may or may not have skipped working out during the kids' naps because the book sucked me in and I didn't want to put it down.  

While not overtly Christian, except for little tidbits here and there, this was a clean, exciting suspense novel, and I definitely want to check out more of Lis Weihl's books!

Note: I received this e-book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

18/52 - Picnic

Last weekend we went on a picnic for my grandma's birthday - it was a little cold though.  Miss Gwen wasn't too thrilled.


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Mr. Wyatt, on the other hand, thought the whole thing was great fun!  I was running all over the place trying to catch him!

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We ended up heading back to the house for the rest of the celebration, but it was fun seeing my two year old having the time of his life, and the contrast of my four month old pouting.  Ah, kids!

30x30 Update

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 I'm officially halfway through my 30x30 challenge!  You can read more about it here, and see the first two outfits in the challenge.  Here is what I've come up with so far:


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Things To Note:

These aren't the order that I wore the outfits, because I couldn't remember the order, so I just threw them up there at random.

Yes, those are slippers in outfit #6.  I call it my I-just-want-to-read-and-be-lazy-so-let-me-throw-on-a-scarf-and-call-it-good outfit.

It's been cold a lot, so the sweaters have gotten more use than I wanted them to.  Especially that coral-colored one in outfits #3, 5, and 11.  It's actually very versatile.  I think more colored cardigans might be on the list for the fall.

So far I feel like it has been going pretty well.  I haven't felt like it's been that hard to come up with outfits, at least so far.  And Derek says he likes it because I take a lot less time to get dressed.  I guess having limited options helps cut down on my decision-making time!

I've decided that 30 pieces of clothing is really a lot of clothes.  I now understand how Stacy and Clinton can think thirty-ish pieces can comprise a whole wardrobe.  I almost feel like it would be more of a challenge if I had to cut the number of items down even further, but that might just be me being cocky - I still have 15 days to go.  

On my original post, Laura mentioned reading the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker, and that the author only wore seven items of clothing for the entire month - now that would be a challenge!  It has me curious to read the book now.  I've heard good things.

There were a few days where I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to wear a certain outfit, and I ended up styling it a couple different ways depending on my mood, the weather, etc.  For example:



It was cold out and I wasn't liking the belt so much, so I ended up wearing the second outfit.



Same thing happened here.


You might notice that some of the pictures are more blurry than others, and that's because when Derek isn't home I have to take some of them myself using the timer on my camera, so the focus is a bit off.  It's been fun though, because Wyatt watches me take the pictures, so he sees me running back and forth between hitting the button on my camera and posing against the wall, and he started following me and standing against the wall too!  It was so cute.  Hence, he has made an appearance in several of the do-it-myself shots.


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I guess the hand-on-hip pose is the thing to do for these pictures!  (I wish I was better at posing myself - I don't know what to do with my arms.  I feel awkward.)

One day after his bedtime story Wyatt ran out into the living room saying "One more time!", and I realized he wanted to take more pictures!  Apparently it's great fun.  So we took another one (those clothes are not part of my thirty pieces - it's one of those lounge-around-the-house exceptions).


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It's so much easier to do this when Derek is home to take pictures!  He even posed for one while I was checking my settings one day.


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His serious, I'm-so-cool model face.


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And the Derek we all know and love!


I think I need to get Gwen in on some of these pictures in the next couple weeks - she's the only one who hasn't made an appearance!  I'll do a final recap when the thirty days are over, so stay tuned.

Letter To A New Christian Mom

To A New Christian Mom,

Congratulations!  You've just endured multiple hours of extreme pain, exhaustion, and possibly medical intervention, or perhaps months and months of paperwork and waiting, but now you have your prize - you are a mom!

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If you are a normal person, you've probably already had that moment of sheer terror, wondering if you can do this.  Your life has changed in a way that few other things besides a baby can change it, and it's normal to feel scared.

Take a deep breath.  Look at that sweet face while your baby sleeps.  Those microscopic eyelashes.  Those plump cheeks.  Those tiny little rosebud lips.  That is your baby. That is your gift.  Children are a reward and a heritage, and God chose you to be that little reward's caretaker.  He knows what He's doing.  You can do this.

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In the next few days you'll take your baby home, and then your life will start.  It's going to seem overwhelming at first.  And it is overwhelming - you've just added a whole new life to your family!   That's huge.  It's going to take a little while to settle down and get into a routine.  

You'll feel exhausted (a lot) over the next few months.  You'll probably cry (a lot).  You'll agonize over every little thing, jump at every little sound, examine diapers like it's your job (well, it is, actually), worry more than you should, and google ridiculous phrases.  

Welcome to the new mom club.

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When you have a new baby everyone says you should sleep when the baby sleeps.  While that's not bad advice, don't worry about it if you don't want to sleep.  

Personally, I like to read, or watch TV uninterrupted, or take a long bath, or blog when my babies sleep.  Or sometimes I just want to hold them, feel their little chests rise and fall against mine, study that hair swirl or tiny nose again.  

The point is not what you do, it's just to take some time to relax and recharge.  Take some you time.  Whatever that looks like.  But don't do chores (uness that somehow relaxes you).

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When you have a new baby, everyone likes to tell you their opinion on . . . well, everything.  Sometimes this is a good thing when it's a supportive opinion.  Other times it's one little word from some lady you don't even know in the grocery store and you're questioning your mothering skills. 


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Most of those times people are just trying to be helpful, but you should know that you are the person who knows what works best for your baby and your family.  

Nod and smile.  Let them know you appreciate their interest and care for you and your baby. Say the magic words "Oh, I'll have to keep that in mind," if applicable.  Then take the advice you want and forget the rest.  Trust your instincts - you know your baby better than the lady in the grocery store.  

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When you have a new baby, everyone also tells you that it goes by too fast.  You may be tempted gloss over those words, even roll your eyes, because how cliche is that?  

But you know what?  Things are usually cliche for a reason.  And I hate to tell you, but it is true.  

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That little bundle of squishy newborn-ness won't be that way for long.  And while you may be longing for the day when your baby sleeps through the night, when they smile, when they can start solid foods, when they can play, crawl, walk . . . slow down.  Look at that baby.  Memorize every detail, every little murmuring noise, every sweet newborn smell.  

And then the next time a white-haired lady gets misty and tells you to enjoy it because it goes by too fast, you tell her you are soaking in every second - and then make sure you do.  Because one day you'll blink and your baby won't be a baby anymore.  In that moment you don't want to wish that you hadn't wished it away.  You want to know you cherished every second.

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Enjoy your baby.  Pray for your baby (every day).  Pray for God's guidance as you start this new road of motherhood, and for wisdom as you raise that child and teach them about Jesus.  That is your greatest task.  

But for now, when you look into that sweet face, just remember to thank the One who entrusted you with that precious life.  Then soak it up.


Another Not-As-New Christian Mom

(First four pictures are of Wyatt, last four pictures of Gwen, all taken at the hospital when they were brand-new.)

Linking up with Kaitlyn.

When You Know . . .




When I met Derek he played hockey every week at the local rec center.  Shortly after we started dating I started going with him to watch his games.  Derek is a really good skater, very fast, and he's really athletic.  It was so fun to watch my boyfriend playing hockey!  I really like sports when I have someone to cheer for.

Derek and I had so much in common right away, so I knew that he met all my "must-haves" for my future husband - he was a strong Christian, had good character, responsible, hardworking, funny, everything I was looking for.  

But about a month or so after we started dating I went to one of his games.  It was just like the other games I went to really, I'm not sure what was different.  After it was over Derek drove me back to my apartment.

Playing hockey requires a lot of physical exertion, and Derek was usually soaked with sweat afterward, so he would take a shower before coming out to meet me.  

I just remember sitting in his car as we were driving back.  One or the other of us made a joke about something, and I looked over at Derek.  His hair was still wet from his shower, and it was all matted down to his head, and he had a big grin on his face as he looked at me . . . and my heart just kind of stopped for a minute, and I thought how cute he looked with his hair all wet like that, and what a great smile he had.  And then it just kind of struck me like a lightening bolt - that I could marry this guy.  That I wanted to marry this guy.

My mom asked me shortly after that how our date went, and I said it went well, and I immediately followed it up with: "I think I'm going to marry him."  And that was that.

You know how they say when you know, you know?  Well, you don't have to just "know" for it to be the right one, but for me?  When I knew?  I just knew.  

And the rest, as they say, is history.


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(Derek and me, after one of his hockey games when we first started dating.  This is one of our first pictures together, ever!  Ignore my icky hair and baby face.)

Verses For Labor [Printables}


Last December, before I had Gwen, I spent one afternoon looking up verses that I thought would be encouraging to me for when I was in labor.  I had seen a post on Faith's blog on her verses for labor, and I thought it was a great idea to focus on God's word during labor and delivery, so I got out my Bible and concordance and went to work.

I wrote my verses on little 4x6 inch notecards, and I even used colored pens to make them all fancy.  Little did I know that things would move so fast that I wouldn't even have time to use them!  
I do plan on keeping them and using them for my labor with my next baby (assuming we don't have another ambulance incident), but in the meantime I thought I'd share them here!  The first two are from Faith's list, and the rest I picked out for myself.

Feel free to steal these and use them for your own labor (or just anytime you need some encouragement).  I found that some of my favorite verses for life in general were also ones that I would want to focus on in labor, so I also suggest just grabbing your own Bible and going through all the verses you've highlighted in the past - you'll be surprised how many can be appropriate for labor!


If you want to use the images I made here, I sized them so they will fit on 4x6 cards.  Just click on the images you want and save to your computer!
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